As summer begins to wind down, the philanthropic community across the country is gearing up for a big legislative effort that has been more than a decade in the making: the America Gives More Act (H.R. 4719) is up for consideration in the Senate this fall, and we have one brief window of opportunity to encourage the Senate to pass it before we’d have to start the process all over again with a new Congress in January 2015. The Act includes five significant tax provisions encouraging giving by foundations and individuals:
- Permanently reinstate the IRA charitable rollover.
- Simplify the excise tax to 1% for private foundations’ investment income, (thereby reducing the administrative work and enabling more giving to immediate community need).
- Permanently reinstate the enhanced deduction for donating land conservation easements.
- Permanently reinstate the enhanced deduction for donating food inventory.
- Extend the deadline for claiming charitable donations on the previous year’s tax filing through April 15.
The U.S. House of Representatives passed the Act in July by a bipartisan vote of 277 to 130, and according to the National Council of Nonprofits, the debate focused on budgetary issues and not on the substance of the legislation. Once Senators return to D.C. after the current summer recess, there will be only a dozen legislative dates left in September to schedule and pass the Act before Congress adjourns again. If the Senate does not take action, the process starts over again with a new Congress in January 2015.
Take advantage of the next few weeks to support the passage of the America Gives More Act by personally communicating with your Senators while they are home for the August recess.
Whether in person, by phone or via email or social media:
- Ask your Senators to urge Majority Leader Harry Reid and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell to schedule and bring to Senate floor for a vote.
- Ask them to support the legislation when it is presented for vote.
Here are a few resources from our peers: